1997 Volkswagen Jetta GLS 1.4L from North America


Great engine and fun to drive, but everything else falls apart


Trim fell off at 40,000 miles and again at 45,000 miles.

Oxygen sensor replaced at 50,000 miles and 70,000 miles.

Driver door lock replaced at 75,000 miles.

Passenger window motor replaced after one year.

Sunroof motor replaced after one year.

Trunk lock broke at 65,000 miles, again at 80,000 miles.

General Comments:

I saved up to buy this car, as I always loved the drive of the Volkswagens. I still love the drive and feel of the car, but will never buy a Volkswagen again.

Like many others, I have had to replace way too many parts for a car of this age.

I purchased it from a Volkswagen dealer as the second owner; the car had approximately 34,000 miles and was a former lease car. Within the first year I had to replace 2 sections of the trim (at $100 each!). Those fell off within a year and I have subsequently just given up on replacing them.

The check engine light comes on intermittently. Most often it is for no reason, but otherwise it indicates that the oxygen sensor needs to be replaced. This has been done twice, the first time at 50,000 the second at 70,000.

Within 1 year of the warranty expiring I had to replace the sunroof motor and a window motor.

The driver side lock has been replaced, as well as the trunk lock. Currently I can only open the trunk lock by the internal release, the lock has broken again.

The emergency brake handle button broke at 60,000. At 70,000 the light indicator for the rear window defroster stopped working.

I take good care of my cars, always keeping up on my service and oil changes. It is discouraging to take good care of your car and still have it fall apart. The engine still works great, but everything else seems to be poorly constructed. I will never buy a Volkswagen again.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 2nd March, 2006

1997 Volkswagen Jetta GLS 2.0 from North America


I would get another one


Mass Air Flow sensor at 90,000,

Mass Air Flow Sensor again less than a year later

Right side Half-Shaft (the boot was cut and the grease dried up, causing the axle to grind) at 165,000 miles

The seat back adjuster on driver seat broke.

I haven't been able to lock the doors from the drivers side-

2 window motors- they aren't cheap.

General Comments:

I love the car, how it drives, handles, sounds, looks, but I don't like getting it fixed. We have 4 VW's, this being the oldest and they are all expensive to fix. I don't go to the Dealership- they would take your youngest child if they could. Point in case- the half shaft there was $590 parts and labor, found a good import shop to do it for $200. Advice- find a good import shop to take it to!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 21st February, 2006

1997 Volkswagen Jetta GL 2.0 from North America


The perfect car to run into the ground


Alternator replaced at 70,000.

Ignition coil broke at 86,000.

Muffler rusted at 100,000.

Coolant phalange went at 100,000.

Rear tire bearings went at 100,000.

Alarm goes off for no reason. Can't use it.

Front seat wear really badly.

The stripes on the side always fall off when it gets hot. had to restick them at least 10 times.

General Comments:

The turning radius is so great.

The trunk is a life-saver. Have used it to move myself across country twice.

Car has some pick-up to it that is great with a manual.

Hate the alarm problem. Neighbors hate that it chooses 4 am sometimes to go off. No cheap way to fix it. Can't get another alarm put on.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 28th January, 2006

1997 Volkswagen Jetta from North America


1997 was a LEMON year for the Jetta


The siding repeatedly falls off.

Electrical problems such as cruise control (died around 40,000).

Delayed wipers don't work.

Alarm goes off by itself.

Car light goes on by itself.

Tail pipe fell off the first 5 - 10,000 miles.

Fuel pump broke after 1.5 months of owning the car (I should have known then!)

General Comments:

Great turning radius.

Great on windy roads.

Great at high speeds (although I don't drive that way anymore)

Good pick-up.

LOVE the huge trunk.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 20th January, 2006